Welcome to the flavors of culinary travels. Each month I will bring the destinations from my edible adventures back to the Suncoast. Explore some the most delectable experiences through vivid pictures, recipes and suggestions on where to go, what to eat and where to stay.
This month, I take you away to one of my favorite eating cities, San Francisco. While this city’s culinary reputation is one of innovation and invention, for me, the focus is almost always on Asian cuisine. Just imagine the best sushi, as fresh as the Pacific Ocean itself and the Chinese food, in my opinion, the best in America.
It is hard for me to break out from my comfort zone and I am guilty of revisiting the places I love like Mission Chinese, Yank Sing for dim sum and Hakasan for Peking duck and dumplings. But this time, I ventured out to try somewhere new.
Allow me to introduce you to FANG, an updated approach to classic Chinese cuisine. This restaurant is a hot spot on most culinary radars, due to its long family lineage. Kathy Fang is the chef/owner and the daughter of Peter Fang, who owns the Chinatown Shanghainese staple, House of Nanking.
On a rainy night, we jumped into a shared Uber (a great and affordable way to question locals on their favorite dining spots) and headed up the hills to the Soma neighborhood. Enter Fang, a popular Chinese restaurant that clearly has a large following of regulars slurping up tureens of piping hot soups. Loyal patrons know to let their servers order for them, a guaranteed kaleidoscope of spices and flavors that will never disappoint.
Do not be swayed by the torn vinyl on the banquet tables, it is a true testament to the volume of business this restaurant endures. I considered this to be good fortune as FANG’s Chinese cuisine lay ahead for us. Chef Kathy Fang flirts with modern twists on traditional Chinese dishes. Her dishes are innovative, yet approachable with fresh new tastes, and she stays true to her Cantonese heritage.
Want to eat what we did? First, indulge in FANG’s eight treasure salad and pan-fried shrimp dumplings with garlic soy-vinegar sauce and white river soup. Next, try a steaming caldron of a seasonal favorites; whole fish with tofu puffs, scallions, pork wontons and aromatics. Just say yes to this dish, trust me. If you want to be wowed, order the salted pork belly, it has a delightful kick from the chilies. Ask for honey, as this takes it to a whole new level. This is what I call a perfect dish: succulent pork with the slab fat perfectly crisp. To round out culinary experience, add apple prawns to the order as well as the delicate pork buns.
FANG is Chinese at its best without pretense.
Spicy Pork Shashuka with Cauliflower
Chef Kathy Fang
Here is a super comforting dish you can make that’s full proof and full of flavor. A typical Shashuka has onions, peppers, tomato sauces, eggs and paprika. I swapped out the onions and peppers and added some protein and veggies to it to help make the dish more substantial since I won’t be eating this dish with bread. I’m trying to cut out bread and stay low carb on my meals so fortifying the Shashuka with the pork and cauliflower will make it a complete and a filling meal. You can follow my super easy recipe and make this at home or you can even now watch me make this dish step by step and see plating as well. Go to the link below to watch me make the Spicy Pork Shashuka from scratch!
2-3 ounces spicy pork sausage not in the casing
1/4 of a whole cauliflower diced into small pieces
4-5 ounces of your favorite tomato or pasta sauce
1 pinch of paprika
1 pinch of oregano
1 pinch of dry onion powder
2-4 whole raw eggs
1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
optional: mixed greens
1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan that’s slightly deep.
2. Add the sausage and brown. Once it starts to brown, you can add the cauliflower
3. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add your tomato or pasta sauce
4. Let it come to a boil and turn heat to medium
5. Season with paprika, onion powder, and oregano and simmer for 2-3 minutes
6. Once the mixture thickens, taste and season with salt and pepper
7. You can also add chili flakes to make it spicier
8. Now add crack eggs on top of the mixture and cover with a lid
9. Eggs will cook until slightly firm or medium firm. I like the egg yolks to be soft boiled consistency or runny.
10. Now serve directly out of the pan or scoop into bowls and garnish with some mixed greens!
Mix the eggs with the mixture and enjoy!!!